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16. Interface and application programming (CLS adults)

This week the group was asked to compare as many tool options as possible for interface and applications programming.


Since most of us are beginners in this topic, most of us gravitated towards the software Processing to create our interface and applications. Taken from the website,

Processing is a flexible software sketchbook and a language for learning how to code within the context of the visual arts.

In many respects, it feels like Arduino but for applications and interfaces. This similarity goes as far as some of the commands and language being identical to the Ardunio IDE. For example, the setup functions and draw functions in the Precessing IDE are very similar to the setup and loop function in the Arduino IDE. Another benefit of Processing is the great documentation found at Implementing changes to the environment are quick and snappy, and the code can be reloaded in no time using the serial monitor.

Better yet, interfacing Processing with Ardunio through serial commands proved quick and easy. Our instructors directed us towards several tutorial options for doing so.

Neil recommended Processing for UI/Apps beginners who like Arduino and our group has found this to be a true statement.

One member who did not use Processing, was Nick Niles, who developed a project in Unity. Nick downloaded virtual serial monitor app, and after a few of us had been dealing with serial monitor issues (with the ATTiny 1614 chip) some of Nick’s work pertained to those who did. Nick is very fluent with computer programming, and his project was phenomenal (especially for those of us who are not). He first ran the “Hello” arduino code, and he was able to see the word “Hello” appear in his virtual serial monitor.

In order for Nick to use his soil moisture sensor, he had to improve the data that he was collecting so that it could be parsed. In order to do this, Nick used another software called CoolTerm (one that Dr. Harris had mentioned to us during his Networking lesson). He added special chars to the data that allowed it to be parsable, and then using C# code in Unity, Nick was able to view the data (coming from Arduino) in Unity. Now that he was able to do this, Nick then was able to manipulate the data in order to control the rain (size and amount) in Unity. As Nick placed the soil moisture sensor in the water, he was able to create rain in Unity.

Last update: May 24, 2022